UAE: ‘Ramadan in Dubai’ organized by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), has seen shopping malls extending their opening hours for the convenience of residents and tourists alike.
With many malls and thousands of retail outlets offering great promotions and discounts on a variety of items ranging from electronics, fashion to furniture and toys, the extension of mall-operating hours has made it very easy for shoppers as they finish their Iftar and prayers by late night and then go on to make the necessary purchases.
The Media Centre of DFRE team spoke to shoppers at malls in Dubai about their experience and opinion about mall operating hours:
My Favorite Shopping Experience
Bana Sharifh, a tourist from the UK said: “I used to live here before I got married and moved back to the UK. I came during Ramadan to visit my family as I want to live out the Ramadan experience, which I am missing in the UK. Since I will return before Eid, I have shopped for Eid gifts for my family as well as for myself. I also bought home accessories, dates, t-shirts and clothes. I have been here for 6 days and I am leaving tomorrow having spent at least AED 5,000 during this period. I am glad that even during Ramadan, I still have the time to shop which is only because of the extended mall hours. After breaking my fast, I gather with the family for tea and desserts then prayers. By the time our Ramadan daily routine is over, it is around 10pm. Therefore, the only time for me to buy whatever I need is post 10pm and the malls opening until late hours is just perfect! We also had Suhoor at the mall after we were done with shopping.”
“I think it is very convenient for people to shop in the hours following Iftar because before breaking their fast they are either too tired, too busy cooking or preparing for Iftaar. I didn’t realize I bought much until I actually reached the car to see that I had many bags! The prices are competitive and I bought some items that I really didn’t know I needed until I saw them.”
Full of Life
Three Filipino colleagues who live together; Jose, Lesther and Billy work in the hospitality industry. “Our working hours didn’t change during Ramadan but we are more excited to go to the mall during late night as it is full of life especially since we can dine as all our favourite restaurants are open.”
Rami Ahmad from Jordan, a resident of Dubai thinks that shopping after Iftar fits his timings perfectly: “I work until 2pm and go home to rest till Iftar. After Iftar, I spend time with my grandchildren and watch TV shows. Now I am here at the mall at 11pm to buy fish, home accessories and desserts as we are hosting a big Iftar gathering for our family tomorrow. I am happy that the shopping mall timings are flexible rather than we have to rush out before the shops close. I will also head to the food court now to grab a meal before leaving. I spent a total of AED 1500 so far for groceries and home accessories. I was also quite impressed to see that hypermarkets also have offers during Ramadan, not just retail outlets.”
He added: “It is amazing how this city adapts to the schedule and timings of its people! The customer service desk at the mall is always happy to serve you, sales people are ready to help you and it all makes my experience so pleasant.”
Hosting Until Late Hours
Prerna Jha, an Indian resident in Dubai, said: “I came to the mall after Iftar to enjoy the spirit of Ramadan as a lot of people tend to shop for Ramadan and start preparing for Eid. We own a restaurant in the mall and we are busy prior to Iftar time. Therefore, we only have free time post Iftar. We also host a great number of customers towards midnight”.
Ramadan sale and promotional offers will continue to take place across malls in Dubai during the holy month followed by Eid in Dubai.